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Lions quotes: Friday's comments from Jim Schwartz, Gunther Cunningham

Quotes from Jim Schwartz and Gunther Cunningham's media session after Friday's Detroit Lions practice.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham had to say after Friday's practice. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)


On the no sleeve policy: "I didn't wear sleeves. I wasn't going to take that abuse if I went out there wearing a parka. I ain't looking like Gun (Gunther Cunningham) out there. We had a couple of violators. It's all in good fun. It was as cold a day as we have had at practice for a while. There is a good chance it's going to be like that this Sunday. We didn't practice outside because we are playing outside. It's just that surface is a little better for some of our guys and we try to get outside when we can."

On how a non-contact practice resulted in an injury for CB Darius Slay: "He hurt his knee in practice yesterday. Still being evaluated. We'll just see where that takes us. It was sort of a freak thing."

On CB Jonté Green continuing his progression from last year to this year: "He has. He saw the field a little bit against Chicago first time he was active. Then we had some injury issues. He's done a nice job on special teams for us when he has been active. He's still a good, young player. It's just that where we have been roster wise, he hasn't been active a whole lot. He's been making good progress. We had been saying that about Slay, a lot of stuff that people don't see, and I think both Jonté and even Chris Greenwood on our practice squad, those guys have all been making good progress."

On Eagles RB LeSean "Shady" McCoy: "He's got good outside ability. Jump cuts, spin moves. He's a strong runner. He can break tackles. Just has great instincts for finding holes and running the football and things like that. He's good in the pass game also. Can't just zero in on him in the run game. They also spread you thin on the runs with the read option stuff and the threat of the quarterback. You can't just devote all your resources to playing one guy. Results show for them. He's running the ball very well. He's near the top in the NFL in yards from scrimmage and their rushing offense is near the top of the NFL. It's something that we have been doing well and the winner of that matchup in the game, our run defense against their rushing offense, particularly Shady McCoy, that's going to go a long way to seeing who has the edge on Sunday."

On the difficulty to matchup the defense against the Eagles diverse offense: "Every offense is that way. The more resources you devote to stopping the run, the less resources you have to devote to the pass and the more play makers they have in the passing game the more you get spread out. I don't think it's any different than other teams."


On the dangers of blitzing Eagles QB Nick Foles: "I don't know, I've seen teams do it. I saw Dallas do it and the Giants do it and they did it well. It's just like any game: You have to take the right approaches and call the things at the right time."

On if Eagles WR DeSean Jackson gives the Eagles an element, similar to Seahawks WR Percy Harvin, in which Philadelphia can move him around a lot: "Yeah, they do that, but Percy's one of my favorite players, not that DeSean's not. But he's a different kind of player. He's a receiver and that's how they use him and they do move him around, locate him in different positions and try to get the ball to him, especially early in the game."

On the Eagles feeding off the run game: "There's no question. DeSean is running the ball, running it well. Something I read in some article where he hadn't been running as well the last couple times, but he's a heck of a back. That's like saying Adrian Peterson is having a down time for a couple weeks. That's the last time you'll probably say that. Overall, they have an outstanding running game and how they use that, the way they use it, puts the pressure on the defense. Off of that are some deep ball shots. They have two guys, No. 14 (Riley Cooper) and DeSean that are catching the ball. They both have seven touchdown passes. I liken them to us, believe it or not, our offense. I see us do the same things to other teams. We hit for the home run ball, we go for the deep shots. The irony of it all is, they have one more than we do on offense. That's what we're playing against. Now, the way they operate is quite different. They're a fastball team, and it's not like the old Colts or even Cincinnati going way back when they called it ‘muddle huddle' and close to the ball. From what I understand, the way they operate is as soon as the ball is ready to be put down by the official, the center's on it and they're ready to go. We're going to have to adjust to those things, and I think those big plays are coming off of actions, usually on the defense not being set, not being ready for the snap and they're on them. They're making plays off of that."

On if the defense has practiced for the speed in which the Eagles' offense gets plays off: "It's really difficult to do that because you have a scout team trying to run the Eagles' plays. What you have to do, you have to huddle up and have them look at it. You could try, and I've done this in my career, where you call two plays at the same time - come in and run one, come right on the ball. But that gets really messed up. The way we've done things I think is the right approach. We tried to really pressure the defense with different calls, different formations. They use some unbalanced offense, which puts another thing on the middle linebackers and safeties. We'll see how it goes, I think we've prepared well and we'll be ready."

On the Eagles' read-option: "They use it every snap almost. The part of the read-option that is a little bit different with these guys with (Nick) Foles playing, he's really not an option quarterback. I think you can see that for yourself. He's about seven-feet tall. The other guy, Michael Vick, is the full-speed option quarterback. If they play him, they'll put a different wrinkle on the game. Most of it is handoff. I don't know how much you call it the read-option. They read the end man on the line of scrimmage. If he takes the dive-back, the quarterback keeps it. I think if they do that, they call it, they tell the quarterback to keep it. Now they're going to say something different. I'll let them say it. I know what I see. We'll see how that goes, but the guy they're giving the ball to is an exceptional back (LeSean McCoy). Reggie Bush has some of that stuff. He's really quick and that's what we're going to have to do is, we're going to have to tackle him."

On what he thinks makes Eagles RB LeSean McCoy so successful: "He is able to jump cut. He comes to a full stop and then comes out full speed out of that break. He spins a lot and gives ground, which is unusual for a back, but he will give ground to pop to the outside. I see a lot of the big plays in their run game come off of those. There is a design shot where he has the read but he is improvising a lot and that's how he gets a lot of those yards."

On if their offensive tempo changes their plans with substitutes: "We are used to practicing against our offense and Jim does a great job with all of that situational football. We run fastball and you just can't call one defense. We won't go any further than where I just went but we basically do what we need to do."

On if the Lions rookie class has exceeded what teams usually get out of rookie classes: "I think that is definitely the case. There are a couple things that are important and number one is that they are a really good talent. (Darius) Slay and both Devin (Taylor) and (Ezekiel) Ansah, I watch them rushed yesterday and I think the coaches have done a great job. This may be the best I have been around in quite a while. We are coaching every day, hard, and the problem with the younger guys is that they are usually servicing on the scout team and the offensive coaches want them to emulate. Well that causes problems for what you are trying to teach them so the players and coaches have put in extra time, early in the morning before practice, after practice. I see a lot of improvement because the players are being responsible and the coaches are working really hard. It is the first time we have felt that we are on the upswing with the talent improving late in the year."

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